Friday, August 6, 2010
TOO SOON? THE HIROSHIMA REENACTMENT INCIDENT
Until the day he died, Paul W. Tibbets was adamant that he never had any regrets or even second thoughts about his role in ushering in the age of atomic warfare over the skies of Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945. The retired Air Force general reaffirmed his unwavering support of the decision to use the bomb some thirty years later in a unique and monumentally ill-advised stunt. On Saturday, October 10, 1976, Tibbets reenacted his historic Enola Gay mission—complete with a simulated atomic explosion—for a paying crowd of 40,000 people in Harlingen, Texas. He repeated the flight two more times the next day. Instead of the Enola Gay, named in honor of his mother, Tibbets flew “Fifi,” a restored B-29 Superfortress named after the co-pilot’s girlfriend.
The purpose of the faux atomic sorties was to help raise funds for a World War II aircraft preservation group called the Confederate Air Force (now known by their less controversial name, the Commemorative Air Force). The non-profit CAF may have sponsored the event, but, shockingly, the U.S. Army supplied a detonation team to help out with the “atomic-bomb simulator,” described in the press reports at the time as “a barrel of explosives” that produced the mushroom-shaped cloud money shot.
The public address script for the re-enactment included the following text heard by the assembled crowd at Rebel Field in Harlingen: “As the B-29 approaches, the explosion of the atomic bomb goes off, ending some of the darkest days in American history…”
In evaluating the stress levels involved in the Enola Gay mission versus the decidedly less deadly Fifi bombing runs, Tibbets told the Associated Press: “There certainly wasn’t as much to worry about compared to 1945.” The pilot then added: “I was not emotionally involved in the dropping of the first atomic bomb. To me, it was a military mission and I was relieved after it was over that it was a success. I’ve never lost a moment’s sleep over the fact that I commanded the bombing…” The AP reporter apparently did not ask the logical follow-up question, "So, in essence, you feel exactly the same now as you did then?"
Of course, after news of the Texas air show’s peculiar main attraction hit the wires, it did not take long for the people of Japan to react. They were, quite understandably, furious.
The Mayor of Hiroshima, Takeshi Araki, who, at first could not believe the incident really occurred, called the re-enactment “a blasphemy” and “grotesque.” In a later press release he wrote that he would tell the organizers of the air show that “What you have done insults the Japanese people who suffered from the bomb. I feel real rage and we shall protest to the U.S. government and all concerned.”
Foreign Minister Zentaro Kosaka was more reserved in his condemnation: “A bomb and a mushroom-shaped cloud is a real nightmare for the Japanese. Although it was a civilian air show, I cannot refrain from feeling badly. They lacked consideration for the feelings of others.”
Hisako Tanaka, a 28-year-old woman in Tokyo, told the Washington Post: “I’m really angry. It’s ridiculous, racist and discriminatory. I’m really surprised that people like that still exist in the states.”
Juro Ikeyama, an official of the Japanese Congress Against Atom and Hydrogen Bombs told the Post that he “trembled” when heard about the air show. “Our effort to make the world aware of the consequences of atomic warfare have plainly been inadequate. We must do more. The American people have no guilty conscience. If you knew the consequences of what you have done, this demonstration would have been impossible.”
The president of the same organization, Ichiro Mortake, sent a cablegram to the Confederate Air Force calling the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a “historical crime to mankind” and demanded that the group never again stage such a re-enactment.
On October 14, 1976, the U.S. Embassy in Japan issued an apology for the bad taste displayed by the persons responsible for the Texas air show. The Washington Post quoted unnamed sources describing Embassy officials as being “appalled” by the re-enactment and, especially, the reported involvement of U.S. military staff.
Col. Glenn Bercot, spokesman for the Confederate Air Force, reacted to the international incident that his group had created by stating:
“All we’re doing here is recreating the historic air battles of World War II with the aircraft we have. We are not trying to glamorize it in any way, but to show something solemn…”
A ranking Japanese diplomat had already anticipated that kind of tone deaf excuse and had, the previous day, compared his country’s dismay over the Hiroshima reenactment to how Americans might feel if Japanese veterans restaged the Bataan death march.
The CAF’s last word on the matter was a press statement that concluded:
“We feel that this demonstration was altogether proper and presented in an appropriate manner. We do not owe an apology to anyone.”
Paul Tibbets was smart enough to reserve his comments on the incident for his 1978 autobiography, but they were no less combative. On page 306 of The Tibbets Story, the controversial pilot took a delayed swipe at the man who had protested the reenactment to the CAF. Tibbets suggested that Ichiro Mortake “might not be alive today, to lead his protest group, had it not been for the atom bombs [that ended World War II].
To the best of our knowledge, there has never been another Hiroshima recreation, but Fifi still flies…
The Tibbets Story [New York: Stein and Day, 1978] by Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.
MAGAZINE / NEWSPAPER ARTICLES
“Hiroshima Bombing Re-Enacted Sunday,” The Post Tribune (Jefferson City, MO) via AP, October 11, 1976
“Hiroshima Reenactment In Texas Angers Japan,” The Midland (TX) Reporter-Telegram, via Washington Post, October 14, 1976
“U.S. Apologizes To Japan For A-Bomb Reenactment,” The Galveston (TX) Daily News via UPI, October 15, 1976
Posted by Bill Geerhart at 11:35 AM
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
The link in the Conelrad alert to this page is incorrect!
great job, guys, keep at it.
I'm a resident of Harlingen since 1981 (born in '80) and saw CAF shows many times when I was a kid (before they moved to Midland) and remember seeing the Hiroshima reenactment. It was pretty neat. Had a tour of Fifi once, too.
This was actually the 2nd Hiroshima reenactment. First one was at the Los Angeles Coliseum on October 27, 1945. It was called "Tribute To Victory"
Tribute To Victory had 100,000 in attendance, FYI.
“Our effort to make the world aware of the consequences of atomic warfare have plainly been inadequate. We must do more. The American people have no guilty conscience. If you knew the consequences of what you have done, this demonstration would have been impossible.”
Kinda like the Japanese people have no guilty conscience of Nanking, Bataan, etc. To this day, those are not taught in Japanese schools. Selective indignation. 1,177 Sailors of the USS Arizona might have thought otherwise, if they were around to voice their opinion. Sucks to not see it coming.
In 1976 I was assistant chief of the Associated Press Texas bureau headquartered in Dallas. When I got wind of the Confederate Air Force's plans to reenact the atomic bombing of Hiroshima it sounded more than interesting. That Paul Tibbets would be flying the world's last operational B-29 to lend real authenticity to the air show's final event lifted it from mere interest to potential big story. I called the CAF to say I wanted to interview Paul Tibbets, to be on board that B-29 as he recreated his role in world history, and to write a story for AP world distribution. I was warmly welcomed by the CAF. Days later, Tibbets and I stood under the wing of the B-29 "Fifi" for an hour discussing Japan's role in World War II and his feelings about how the war ended. At times like that reporters are not supposed to show or imply they have feelings or emotions. Their questions and their writings must be objective in every way. It was a tough question for me to ask because I felt it would be more than a tough question for him to answer. Asking "How do you feel about killing 80,000 or 90,000 people all at once" implies judgment, criticism and reproach. Obviously, Tibbets had wrestled with that question before August 6, 1945 and for 30 years afterward.
Years earlier I had worked in radio with a man who survived the Bataan death march. He had spent three years in a POW camp in Japan. When he escaped he and his comrades confronted a group of Japanese army officers frolicking with women in an indoor swimming pool. They shot and bayoneted the enemy to death with their own weapons. My friend, Fred Katool, had no regrets but he felt a lot of bitterness over Japanese abuse of he and thousands of other American and British soldiers, sailors and airmen. He stayed drunk for three years following the war before psychiatric help was able to restore his mental health. No sane, compassionate person can take pleasure in killing. As Paul Tibbets often pointed out he did what he had to do without regret to forestall many thousands more Japanese and American deaths in a mainland invasion of Japan. Remember that Japan ignored President Truman's many appeals to surrender peaceably. He warned them of what was coming their way if they refused to lay down their arms. He wasn't kidding. They weren't listening. I once served with a Naval officer veteran of WWII. After his ship sank a Japanese submarine he reached down over the railing to extend a rescue hand to a Japanese sailor. Instead of accepting the offer of salvation the sailor held up a knife, scowled, slit his own throat and slipped beneath the waves. If Tibbets had not done what he did another man would have done the job for him. It would have been necessary. If Japan had not attacked Pearl Harbor and Hickam Field December 7, 1941 none of what followed in the Pacific -- including the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- would have been necessary.
The contents present at this web page are truly remarkable and such a valuable knowledge, good quality article. 코인카지노
Way cool, some valid points! 텍사스홀덤 I appreciate you making this article available, the rest of the site is also high quality. Have a fun.
The kind and easy-to-understand explanation made it easy to understand difficult topics. Your writing skills are great. I want to learn great writing skills. 블랙잭사이트
I love what you 메이저놀이터 tend to be up too. This kind of clever work and exposure! Keep up the excellent works guys I've incorporated you guys to our blogroll.
Thanks to my father who told me concerning this weblog.
I do agree with all of the ideas you’ve presented in your post.온라인카지노
This is one of the best website I have seen in a long time thank you so much.온라인카지노
This is really helpful post and very informative there is no doubt about it. 스포츠토토
I finally found great post here. Thanks for the information. Please keep sharing more 온라인카지노
Thanks for your marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you could be
a great author.I will remember to bookmark your blog and will
eventually come back from now on. I want to encourage you to continue your great
writing, have a nice weekend!
Of course, your article is good enough, Tàixỉu but I thought it would be much better to see professional photos and videos together. There are articles and photos on these topics on my homepage, so please visit and share your opinions.
This blog was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I've foundto learn. i appreciate you and hopping for some more informative posts 스포츠사이트검증
Itís hard to come by experienced blog you've got here.. Itís hard to find quality writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate individuals like you! 먹튀사이트
Sublimely composed article, if just all bloggers offered the same have something to learn. i appreciate you and hopping for some more informative posts 놀이터검증업체
If you are going for finest contents like me, simply visit this website every day as it presents quality contents, thanks
Your post is very helpful and information is reliable. I am satisfied with your post. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful post. If you have any assignment requirement then you are at the right place. 메이저사이트
While looking for articles on these topics, I came across this article on the site here. As I read your article, I felt like an expert in this field. I have several articles on these topics posted on my site. Could you please visit my homepage? 메이저놀이터순위
Plz answer back as I’m looking to construct This blog is a very informative place. I'll come by often 토토사이트보증업체
I look forward to your kind cooperation. Thank you for your always good posts 검증사이트목록
I have recently started a website, the information you provide on this website has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work. 먹튀신고
Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon 먹튀신고
wanita yang memiliki baru saja di karuniai gadis menawan ini nyatanya memiliki gaya mode yang tidak kalah menarik perhatian di perbincangkan. Gaya Raisa satu ini memanglah berbeda dari yang lain.
Dengan memakai kemeja panjang hingga betis yang di pakai meningkatkan kesan elegan tetapi kasual. https://duniaidola.com/ Di tambah dengan ikat pinggang dompet membuat Raisa kian cetar serta menawan.
Hendak sangat sesuai buat kamu yang mau tampak girly tetapi selalu tampak kasual serta sederhana. Gaya satu ini pula dapat digunakan sebagai inspirasi buat berangkat jalan- jalan.
When did it start? The day I started surfing the Internet to read articles related to . I've been fond of seeing various sites related to 먹튀검증 around the world for over 10 years. Among them, I saw your site writing articles related to and I am very satisfied.
Great blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. 홀덤
This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your fantastic post.
Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article! It’s the little changes which will make the largest changes. Thanks for sharing keo nhacai
온라인카지노 Hi everyone, it’s my first pay a visit at this site, and piece of writing iis really fruitful iin suppoirt of me, keep upp postingg these types of articles.
whoah this blog is fantastic i love reading your posts. Keep up the great work! You know, lots of people are looking around for this information, you could aid them greatly. 카지노사이트
I’m not sure why but this blog is loading incredibly slow for me.
Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end?
I’ll check back later and see if the problem still exists. 스포츠토토
Quality content is the crucial to interest the viewers to go to see the site, that’s what this website is providing. 토토사이트
My programmer is trying to convince me to move to .net from keonhacai. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses. But he's tryiong none the less.
Hey what a brilliant post I have come across and believe me I have been searching out for this similar kind of post for past a week and hardly came across this. Thank you very much and will look for more postings from you. 먹튀검증 and I am very happy to see your post just in time and it was a great help. Thank you ! Leave your blog address below. Please visit me anytime!
토토사이트 Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article.
바카라사이트 Just about each amazing really own & each methods to your website are extraordinary
온라인카지노 You literally made my day happy by sharing this wonderful blog. Keep it up, thanks.
It's the same topic , but I was quite surprised to see the opinions I didn't think of. My blog also has articles on these topics, so I look forward to your visit.baccarat
As the Internet develops further in the future, I think we need to collect materials that people might be interested in. Among the data to be collected, your 메가슬롯 will also be included.
I am a 슬롯사이트 expert. I've read a lot of articles, but I'm the first person to understand as well as you. I leave a post for the first time. It's great!!
I came to this site with the introduction of a friend around me and I was very impressed when I found your writing. I'll come back often after bookmarking! 먹튀검증
GTA Online Diamond 온라인카지노 Heist Top 10 Tips And Tricks
I'm writing on this topic these days, 우리카지노 , but I have stopped writing because there is no reference material. Then I accidentally found your article. I can refer to a variety of materials, so I think the work I was preparing will work! Thank you for your efforts.
This is very interesting, You're a very skilled blogger. I've joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post. Also, I have shared your web site in my social networks! Feel free to visit my website; 야설
Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with some pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is magnificent blog. A great read. I’ll certainly be back. Feel free to visit my website;
More About 메이저놀이터 Tips – Card Counter Strategies
In my opinion, the item you posted is perfect for being selected as the best item of the year. You seem to be a genius to combine 안전놀이터 and . Please think of more new items in the future!
That s a good feeling about a good blog. I ll find out as I visit one by one. I think this kind of place will always be helpful. 먹튀보증업체
This blog is a really useful blog. I enjoy it. I be back. 토토
Very nice article. I enjoyed reading your post. very nice share. I want to twit this to my followers. Thanks 보증업체
Your ideas inspired me very much. 메이저토토사이트모음 It's amazing. I want to learn your writing skills. In fact, I also have a website. If you are okay, please visit once and leave your opinion. Thank you.
Extremely decent blog and articles. I am realy extremely glad to visit your blog. Presently I am discovered which I really need. I check your blog regular and attempt to take in something from your blog. Much obliged to you and sitting tight for your new post.메이저사이트모음
Info is very interesting to me, I and others would have been very happy with what you inform here. 스포츠토토
The article posted was very informative and useful, thanks for sharing. 파워볼사이트
I was very pleased to find this web-site. I wanted to thanks for your time for this wonderful read. 바카라사이트
I was looking for another article by chance and found your article 룰렛 I am writing on this topic, so I think it will help a lot. I leave my blog address below. Please visit once.
Which is some inspirational stuff. Never knew that opinions might be this varied. Thank you for all the enthusiasm to provide such helpful information here. 온라인바카라
Hello, I read the post well. 안전놀이터추천 It's a really interesting topic and it has helped me a lot. In fact, I also run a website with similar content to your posting. Please visit once
We are looking for a lot of data on this item. In the meantime, this is the perfect article I was looking for . Please post a lot about items related to 바카라사이트 !!! I am waiting for your article. And when you are having difficulty writing articles, I think you can get a lot of help by visiting my .
I accidentally searched and visited your site. I still saw several posts during my visit, but the text was neat and readable. I will quote this post and post it on my blog. Would you like to visit my blog later? 메이저놀이터추천
I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post. 먹튀검증 I am writing on this topic, so I think it will help a lot. I leave my blog address below. Please visit once.!
Incredible post I should state and much obliged for the data. Instruction is unquestionably a sticky subject. Be that as it may, is still among the main themes of our opportunity. I value your post and anticipate more. 메이저저사이트
Nice Blog. Thanks for sharing with us. Such amazing information.
Guest Posting Site
Best Guest Blogging Site
Guest Blogging Site
Most Insane Wins in 카지노게임사이트 $5m+ - GTA Online Diamond casino
Post a Comment